Ruminations of the Easily Amused for 2/17/2017


Ruminations of the Easily Amused for 2/17/2017

16 February 2017 at 3:51:50 PM

If you voted for Texas Prop 7, the proposition that was to fix and build highways, guess what! Texas Lege wants to raid that money and put it somewhere else

More than a year after Texas voters approved routing billions in state sales taxes to roads and bridges, some lawmakers are questioning whether the first payment of $5 billion should move forward as planned.

Texans voted in 2015 to boost funding for state’s public roadways and bridges, which have strained under the state’s growing population. Proposition 7 — loudly cheered by top Texas leaders and supported by 83 percent of voters — changed the state constitution to route some taxes collected on car sales to the State Highway Fund. 

But in an unusually tightfisted legislative session, some Texas lawmakers are raising the prospect of reducing that initial cash infusion to free up money for other state programs.

Is Roger Williams going to hold a Town Hall meeting in Somervell County? If he is, hope it's for everybody and not just Republicans.

Watched Trump's ridiculous presser yesterday, which thugs probably love, but only deserves being made fun of 

#trump is the worst thing that's ever happened.

"get over it he won! "


— Kevin Flood (@FLOOKLYN) February 17, 2017

Trump's lying budget forecast

It’s customary for the White House to produce a budget forecast that is a bit rosier than what Congress, the Federal Reserve, or private sector forecasts generate. It’s unusually for it to be so wildly at odds with the consensus.

That’s in part because most presidents lack Trump’s shamelessness. Another part is that most presidents would worry that if you order CEA staff to make up fake numbers, they will leak that to the Wall Street Journal.

But perhaps the biggest part is that normally presidents are trying, on some level, to work with Congress to get things done. Congress needs to use Congressional Budget Office numbers when legislating, so a fake White House forecast doesn’t help a president’s allies on the Hill. In effect, Trump is simply tossing congressional Republicans a hot potato — telling them that he is disavowing responsibility for any of the trade-offs inherent in governing, and that the responsibility is all on them to work things out.

Washington Supreme Court says there's no constitutional right to discriminate against same-sex couples.

Today, the Supreme Court of the state of Washington issued an important ruling, unanimously holding that a business can’t ignore the state anti-discrimination law and refuse to provide flowers for a same-sex couple’s wedding.

The case, State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers, began in 2013, when two men, Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed, sought to purchase flowers for their then-upcoming wedding. The men approached Arlene's Flowers and Gifts in Richland, their favorite flower shop where they’d gone for years, but shop owner Barronelle Stutzman  refused to sell to them, contending that doing so would violate her religious beliefs.

That’s when officials with Washington state stepped in, informing Stutzman that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws and asking her to agree not to discriminate in the future. She refused, and the state – and the two men – filed suit.

Van Taylor filed a bill to open Texas legislators' pension records to the public

"Citizens have a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent," Taylor said in a written statement. "Yet under current law, taxpayer-funded pension information of elected officials are hidden from disclosure. We the people elect government officials as public servants, not as special members of a private club that allocates themselves undisclosed public perks."

Taylor’s chief of staff, Lonnie Dietz, said the senator filed a similar bill in the last legislative session, but it did not pass.

The bill would not apply to retirement records for other elected officials such as judges or city and county officials. Of the 27 former elected officials the Tribune found who had felony convictions and are eligible for pensions, 22 of them fell into that category — just five were former legislators.


Only 37 percent of Americans think Trump is trustworthy. Well, yeah. Could be because he constantly lies 

By comparison, at similar points in their presidencies, Barack Obama was seen as trustworthy by 76 percent of Americans, George W. Bush by 60 percent and Bill Clinton by 63 percent.

Trump’s interpretation of the truth came under scrutiny as soon as he entered the White House last month. He repeatedly disputed photographic evidence showing his inauguration crowd was significantly smaller than for Obama’s first inauguration eight years earlier, leading senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway to coin the phrase “alternative facts.”

But his bending of the truth dates further back. PolitiFact awarded Trump with its 2015 Lie of the Year for his statements on the campaign trail. Meanwhile, in analyzing Trump’s remarks since his campaign, the website found that 60 percent of his statements were either “mostly false,” “false” or “pants on fire.” Only 4 percent of his statements were rated as being “true.”

But his ratings on trustworthiness are far from the only numbers that are less than favorable right now. The same Pew survey indicated 39 percent of Americans considered the former host of “The Apprentice” well-informed. That compares to 79 percent for Obama, 62 percent for Bush and 79 percent for Clinton at a similar stage of their stays in the White House.


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